Witness testimony: Henrico murder victim yelled 'Get off me!' before death

Updated: Apr. 9, 2018 at 6:37 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A retrial for a woman accused of killing her boyfriend's 19-year-old son and putting his body in plastic bin is happening this week in Henrico.

Denise Gay and her oldest daughter, Latoya Gay, have already gone before a jury before. That jury found them guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, but they could not come to a decision on the first degree murder charge.

Denise's second trial is scheduled for five days.

A motive is still not clear, but on Monday, the prosecutor said one reason for the murder may be because Denise Gay wanted to be closer to the victim's father.

Martre Coles' body was found inside a plastic bin in a wooded area off of South Laburnum Avenue in April 2017.

The most interesting testimony came from Denise Gay's other daughter, who is now 13 years old. The girl was home when she says she saw her mom and older sister take Coles' life.

The 13-year-old says she saw her mom helping Coles make a plaster mask, because he was trying to get into art school. Then the girl says she heard Coles throwing up. A short time later, she says her older sister, LaToya, came over and she heard Coles yelling, "Get off me."

The girl says she looked into his room and saw her mom and sister sitting on top of him with something white on his face. She says it looked like they were struggling. She says she never saw Coles again.

Coles' family has been there for almost every court date.

"It's going to be hard," said his sister Michelle Coles in an earlier interview with NBC12. "But I want to see justice served for what she did. I don't want her to get away with what they did to him."

Denise Gay's attorney tried to poke holes in the girl's testimony, saying there were inconsistencies and that she was known to be a liar. For example, he said she's accused Martre of touching her inappropriately, but then she took back the story.

A therapist working with the girl says she has never backtracked about the story of the murder.

Prosecutors also said the girl set off an alarm at the house about two weeks after Coles disappeared. When police officers arrived, body camera footage shows here telling the officers about the murder.

Denise Gay's other daughter, LaToya, has another trial set for the first degree murder charge in May.

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